Sharon Green - Two Bows

By Katherine Stone

An artist is able to visualize their thoughts and interpretations through their mind’s eye to produce objects of great beauty through their hands. Others visualize them through a lens to produce masterful photographs. This often requires great patience, a great deal of waiting, planning, and often frustration when the “shot” they wanted didn’t work out as they had anticipated. When we sit down to enjoy the Ultimate Sailing calendar every month, we don’t see this part of Sharon Green’s work. As she herself has said, ”My greatest satisfaction comes when it all connects – the anticipation, organization, high-powered yachts sailed by stellar crews, and epic conditions – and combines to create a thrilling photograph. The pursuit of ‘Ultimate Sailing’ never grows old. Three decades and I still love the challenge of creating memorable images for my clients and the calendar.”

Sharon started sailing with her dad, Don Green, when she was seven years old, on the family’s 21-foot Bluenose sloop. Later, when Don got a C&C 35, Sharon and her brother talked him into letting the junior sailors race it, and soon Don ended up with a very reliable and victorious young crew. 

She remembers well the thrill of photographing Evergreen – a radical, custom, 41-foot C&C he had commissioned – when they won the Canada’s Cup in 1978. But one of her most heartbreaking moments was when the mast came down during a race. It wasn’t the mast she was most concerned about, it was the fact that her camera (and in those days it was all film) wasn’t loaded and she missed the shot! She learned a lot after that, and having the camera loaded, no longer with film, but with the right lens is the key, along with trying to anticipate your shot.

As a teen, Sharon always seemed to have her camera with her and enjoyed taking pictures of boats, especially with their colourful spinnakers. When the Toronto Star actually offered her money for a picture she took of Evergreen, little did she realize it would set the wheels in motion for her career of snapping images that would capture the sport of sailing like we had never seen it before. 

Taking a film and photography program at Ryerson University in Toronto helped to hone her skills. But freelance pictures were often overlooked and soon became dated. Sharon didn’t want to be JUST a freelance photographer – she wanted more. When Sharon entered this field of capturing sailboat images on film, it was almost entirely occupied by men. Most of the boats were built and sailed by men. She lost out on big contracts because men didn’t think she knew enough about the sport to take the right pictures. Again, she knew that there had to be another way.

Sharon Green; Credit: Brad BrownOn a Utah ski trip (skiing was another of her passions), Sharon was soul-searching, when she came across a ski calendar. The thought dawned on her that a calendar would be up on someone’s wall ALL year, and then at the end of the year they would need a NEW calendar. As a freelance photographer she already had those 12 shots for the 12 months! That very first Ultimate Sailing calendar had a centrefold with a play-by-play knockdown of some poor soul’s boat and you guessed it, it was a hit! Although the world of sailing is continually changing, the saddle-stitched calendar has remained the same.  So, to help round out her skills, she knew that she needed to put more into her career toolbox. Enrolling at the University of Wisconsin at Madison she took courses in marketing and advertising at their business school. This put her on the course to start her own company, and Windward Productions Inc. was born. She was now in control of her own destiny, because her own pictures would be in the calendar. This accomplishment wasn’t unnoticed, as she received an honourary master’s degree from the well-respected Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California, where she now lives.

After 25 years of publishing only her own images in the calendar, Sharon started to branch out and added other photographers from around the globe. Art direction now became the focus of the calendar, to replace the coloured sails and hulls that were no longer found at regattas.

After photographing eight America’s Cups, the most recent of which featured catamaran ultra speed, her favourite remains the 1985 Challenge in Australia. It was new, exciting and fun. They were pioneers from the northern hemisphere finding out about weather, sailing conditions, and stealth equipment down south. It wasn’t professional – you sailed for your country. There was no advertising, the crew wasn’t paid a salary to take months off to train and go sailing. They did it for the pride of defending the Cup.

Although Sharon prefers to shoot images on the water, she fondly refers to herself as a “helicopter mom” because the best shots always seem to happen from the air. Her greatest fear is not dropping her camera in the water, but rather being at the windward mark with a hoard of 40-footers coming down on you when the engine of the powerboat you are on conks out!

Most recently, Sharon has approached and conquered her biggest undertaking yet. It took more than a year to go through over 30 years of archived film, slides, and digital images. The product involved more than 500,000 images on 244 pages covering 30 Years of Ultimate Sailing with ‘fresh to frightening’ images taken between 1979 and 2014. Her best shots and “aha moments” ever can be found in this amazing coffee table book, and patiently waiting until after the 2014 America’s Cup was sure worth it!

Heartbreak; By Sharon GreenGary Jobson packaged it perfectly for her when he said, “Every image by Sharon Green is a jewel. The combination of clarity and motion is magic. As you browse through this breathtaking book, you’ll be transported aboard every boat. Each time I turn the pages, I discover something new. 30 Years of Ultimate Sailing perfectly captures the high end of our sport during this innovative era.”

Being there, doing her research, asking coaches and weather experts, knowing currents, being patient, having the camera loaded, anticipating, and being at the right place at the right time have all played out well for Sharon Green. She is one of Canada’s best treasures who has used her artistic eye through a lens to capture what we all dream of doing.

30 Years of Ultimate Sailing can be purchased in Canada through the Nautical Mind bookstore for $69.95 www.nauticalmind.com 

Find Sharon Green's Ultimate Sailing Calendar on the CY Store

 

Photo Captions:

Photo 1 - Two bows, Kenwood Cup Hawaii.

Photo 2 - Sharon Green. Credit: Brad Brown.

Photo 3 - Heartbreak; Winsome Gold, 1979 Admiral's Cup.

Evergreen; By Sharon Green Molokai Channel Hawaii; By Sharon Green Sharon Green; By Paul Todd Spinnaker and Blooper; By Sharon Green St Francis Big Boat series; By Sharon Green Helicopter; By Sharon Green

Related Articles

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 03:04

The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as Hamilton hometown photo shooter Sharon Green focuses her camera lens on the wild world of offshore...

Wednesday, 08 September 2021 10:08

As summer winds down, everyone is hustling to pack in as much boating as they can. That has led to a pretty full issue but that’s a whole lot better than chasing our contributors for a few meager...

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 02:30

“Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the round-the-world races have delivered some of the most breathtaking images of our times,” says Sharon Green, creator of The Ultimate Sailing...

Boat Reviews

Video Gallery

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau saw an opportunity to add a little thrill to any cruising adventure, so they took the hull of the First 53 racer (introduced just last year), and with a few fashionable changes, created the Oceanis Yacht 54, the new entry-level of Beneteau’s swanky Oceanis Yacht line. The result is a performance cruiser that sails like a witch and looks like a grande dame.

Design

Roberto Biscontini is the naval architect and Lorenzo Argento created the details of the exterior and interior design. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Over the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova ...
The new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming ...
Commemorating 100 (+1) years of through-navigation on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic ...
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...

Riverest MarinaThe new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming francophone village in Eastern Ontario, this joined marina and restaurant venue is the ambitious initiative of long-time entrepreneur André Chabot and biologist Alexandra Quester, both residents of L’Orignal.

The purchase of the L’Orignal Marina was made official in November 2020. The new year was barely underway when all 50 available slips were already reserved. No wonder the addition of member and visitor slips is already planned for the 2022 season – the 2021 count is up to 62 power and sail already. At the moment, the Riverest Marina offers boaters a stop where they can launch their boat...

Read More

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Finding the right PFD can seem like a daunting task and extends beyond finding one that fits and ...
If chartering is something you’ve been dreaming about, this series is really for you. BUT be ...
So many decisions to make when planning for haul-out. When/how to winterize? What type of ...
It’s a scary thought - whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s ...
It’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – ...
Last summer there was tremendous interest in buying a boat to have fun in the restricted world ...
The boat buying or selling market is hot now and has been since the late spring of 2020. Sean ...
Last issue we got up with Montreal sailor Marc Robic who has accumulated a lot of tips and tricks ...
While some parts of the country are lucky enough to have year-round boating, there are plenty of ...
A Transducer is a device that is installed below the waterline that provides underwater data to a ...

Galvanic CorrosionIt’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s slowly deteriorating under you. Part of this is the nature of the marine environment: Sun, moisture, waves, wind, movement and vibration all contribute to components breaking down.

But there are other factors that are much more concerning and act at a significantly faster rate that the environment can take credit for. One of these is commonly spoken of, but not terribly well understood: Corrosion. As boaters, we’re concerned with two main types of corrosion: Galvanic and Stray-Current. This edition will focus on galvanic corrosion – in two weeks, stay tuned for info on stray-current.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Dockmate®, manufacturer of advanced wireless remote controls for yachts, has announced expanded ...
PORTS Guides are The Essential Boating Companion and Look Great in Gift Wrap!    
Updated features and benefits offer next level of product excellence by integrating innovative ...
AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings has introduced a new, easier to apply topside system with two new products ...
Whether for news, weather or just to watch the game, onboard television reception is important. But ...
Kanvaslight® was specifically engineered for a long life in a salty, sun-drenched environment. The ...
Watermakers take ocean water and create perfect drinking water using reverse osmosis. A Schenker ...
If you’re headed out for a weekend afloat or on a week-long cruise you often must park your vehicle ...
Ten years ago, St. Margaret’s Bay (Halifax), Nova Scotia-based SailTimer Inc. made the first ...
Between the odor and working in confined spaces, replacing an onboard sanitation line is never a ...

News

  • Prev
According to digital news outlet www.insuaga.com, a new, full-service and modern Port Credit marina ...
The Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame and the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston are pleased ...
Paul Tennyson adapted from the reinforced plastics business to form Canadian Sailcraft in 1963. ...
Canadian sailors Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester NS won the bronze medal at the ...
Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Defiant completed a six-race sweep of the Cup for Canada over Zing, the ...
On September 6, Groupe Beneteau laid out its course to develop new boating experiences, new ...
Last Friday, the first ever Canada’s Celebration of Sailing honoured the season for Sailing in ...
Boating Ontario is very proud to have Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety jump on ...
Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies, Inc. is headed to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to ...
Summer is in full swing with Canadians enjoying time outside and on the water. So, while enjoying ...

Mia and Caleb's EngagementOn July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor Yacht in Oromocto NB. (That piece was also expanded in CY magazine later in the year.)

One of our Canadian Yachting contributors, Denise Miller, had shared the article on my social media and a young man reached out and asked if she could connect him with the owners of the boat, Dave and Barb. Denise leapt into action and Dave and Barb were thrilled. They concocted a plan that the young lady, Mia, thought she was coming to model for a sales brochure for Dave to do charter tours.

Read More